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Baltimore Crime Beat
Police and court news
Federal review of Philadelphia police could hold lesson for Baltimore

As community anger raged last year from officer-involved shootings, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey read that a new U.S. Department of Justice program could help reduce shootings and other excessive-force complaints.

After scrutinizing the initial findings of a federal review of the Las Vegas Police Department, he sought help for the nation's fourth-largest police force. His agency was under fire because 65 residents had been killed by police from 2009 to 2013.

Now, 11 months after the Justice Department intervened to help curb abuses in Philadelphia, Ramsey has a list of recommendations that federal officials and outside consultants developed following interviews with community members, officers and public officials. It offers clues about Baltimore's review, which is in its early stages.

"It's going to have a very positive impact on our department, short- and long-term," Ramsey said about the draft report during a wide-ranging interview in his office last week. "There is absolutely...

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Man shot in stomach in Park Heights

A man was shot in the stomach in Park Heights Sunday night, police said.

Officers were called to a local hospital at about 7:40 p.m., where a man had arrived with a gunshot wound to the abdomen after being shot in the 3300 block of Woodland Ave. in the Northwest Baltimore neighborhood, police said.

Police did not release the man's condition or any information on a suspect or motive. Northwest District detectives are investigating, and anyone with information may call 410-396-2466.

The shooting happened in the same neightborhood where 46-year-old Robert Neville was found shot to death in the 3600 block of Park Heights Ave. earlier this month.

Police did not say whether the two were related.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

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3 officers, suspect injured in East Baltimore crash

Three police officers and a suspect were seriously injured in a crash while the officers tried to stop the suspect Sunday in East Baltimore, officials said.

Police did not give any details on the circumstances of the crash, which happened around 1 p.m. in the 700 block of Bartlett Ave. The identities of the officers and the suspect — as well as the extent of their injuries — were not released, and police spokesman Sgt. Jarron Jackson said he did not know whether an arrest had been made.

The department's Force Investigation Unit and Accident Investigation Unit are investigating.

Police said they will hold a news conference Monday to discuss the incident further.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

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Two men wounded in Baltimore shootings

Two men were in stable condition Saturday night at area hospitals after suffering gunshot wounds in separate incidents, Baltimore police said.

Shortly after 3 p.m. police were notified of a shooting in the 5200 block of Fairlawn Avenue. They arrived to find a man who had been shot in the hip. The man was transported to a hospital where he was in stable condition.

Detectives said the man was shot after a dispute with another person. Police did not identify the suspect but asked anyone with information about the incident to call 410-396-2466.

About four hours later police were called to an area hospital to investigate a shooting victim who had walked in asking for treatment.

The adult male has not been identified but he walked into the hospital at around 7:30 p.m. and was treated for a gunshot wound to his torso.

He was in critical but stable condition. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call 410-396-2488.

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Baltimore residents demand tougher laws on police officers at hearing

With the next General Assembly starting in January, more than 100 community members demanded Saturday that state lawmakers toughen laws holding police officers more accountable for misconduct.

During a public hearing on Saturday at the University of Baltimore, residents urged members of Baltimore City's House delegation to revise Maryland's law enforcement Bill of Rights, which some say is too protective of officers, and to give more power to the city's police civilian review board so it has a greater role in disciplining officers.

Others suggestions included eliminating the $200,000 cap on payouts in most lawsuits when residents sue officers for misconduct allegations.

"Litigation in some ways is the only way to weed out bad officers," attorney Dwight Pettit, who has sued dozens of officers in 40 years, told the panel of lawmakers. "That $200,000 limit isn't enough incentive to make them stop the behavior."

The three-hour hearing came two months after a Baltimore Sun investigation...

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Man, 27, shot to death in car

The 27-year-old Northeast Baltimore man found dead with a gunshot wound to his head has been identified as Devin Rankin, police said.

Officers were called at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday to the 4600 block of Mannasota Ave. in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood of Frankford. When they arrived they found Rankin dead in a car stopped in a yard of a home on the street, which was less than two miles from his last known address in the 5200 block of Cedgate Road.

A Devin Rankin, 27, with the same address is listed in online court records as one of seven defendants charged in May as being part of a heroin distribution ring called "Gucci Boys," whose members stand accused of selling the drug in the Frankford and Belair-Edison neighborhoods. The case is still pending.

Rankin was arrested in May and charged with one count of conspiring with others to distribute heroin and five counts of heroin distribution, according to a Baltimore City State's Attorney press release. His arrest was part of a sweep...

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